Pelligrini: The Real Story

Florentino Perez had written off Manuel Pellegrini a long time ago.

Pellegrini opened up about his relationship with the imperious Real Madrid president, revealing that the only contact he had with Florentino Perez was in August. It was a conversation of no great significance.

Before the season began Pellegrini had significant differences with Perez's decision to offload players, especially Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. He said, "He was wrong in many ways to let them go."

Pellegrini felt that their fortunes would have been enhanced by the presence of Robben.

"The winger would have improved the scoring in a major way. With him this season we would have won 19 games at the Bernabeu and scored 120 goals. Without the winger we scored 102 ..... "

He also confessed he felt undervalued and unappreciated, often overlooked in meetings about football matters where his opinion as the coach would have mattered. In fact, his input was altogether brief.

Real Madrid in the Ramon Calderon and Florention Perez era have always been brutal to successful coaches who have given them glory but lacked star power. Vicente Del Bosque and Bernd Schuster come to mind. Pellegrini channels history when he feels he would have been sacked even if they had won the Liga. Despite the coaching staff and the players who were behind him every step of the way.

The Champions League loss to Lyon and the Copa Del Rey crash and burn to Alcorcon were frustrating and Pellegrini accepted full responsibility for the losses. There was no justification, no excuses, especially when it came to Alcorcon.

In the end one feels sympathy for a very good coach and an introspective soul out of depth and insufficiently ruthless for the giant vampire squid of the football world. He was let down by a number of players who never showed up. Kaka, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo were hugely disappointing in matches that really mattered. But even if they did, it would not have been enough to save Pellegrini. He was an interruption to their real goal: getting Mourinho.

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